A Belgian report, based on statistics from Eurostat, shows that life in the EU is 36.5% more expensive now than it was at the start of the millennium. The Belgians are slightly worse off with 38.8%.
The EU-average rise in the price of alcohol and tobacco is no less than 92.1%. The cost of education rose by 91.2%. Non-alcohol beverages are now 43.3% more expensive, houses / utilities 57.2% and health care 40.8%.
The European nanny states are fond of influencing human behavior through penalties and rewards (taxes and subsidies), so the enormous rise in cost of alcohol and tobacco comes as no surprise. The Dutch Secretary of State for health care recently proposed a further increase to 20 euros for a crate of beer and 10 euros for a packet of cigarettes, plus a ban on discounts on alcohol and plain packaging for tobacco.
This is what happens when you cede control over your life and your decisions. If you refuse for long enough to decide the most basic things for yourself, ultimately someone else will take more and more liberty in deciding everything on your behalf.